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HSI Acquires SafetySkills In A Bid To Become Key Leaders In The EHS Training Content Market

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HSI Acquires SafetySkills In A Bid To Become Key Leaders In The EHS Training Content Market

On October 3rd 2022, the Health & Safety Institute (HSI) announced its acquisition of SafetySkills, an e-learning provider of OSHA, EHS and HR-compliance courses, for an undisclosed amount. Since their acquisition of the EHS software platform Donesafe in February 2020, HSI has been working to become a single-source partner in improving employee engagement and building a culture of safety in organizations. Backed by private equity firm Waud Capital Partners since September 2019, HSI has made eight additional acquisitions into workplace safety, training and compliance. In a recent Verdantix survey of 302 firms, EHS training, learning and development is the third-highest driver of EHS spend in 2023, with 46% of respondents planning to increase spending (see Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2022: EHS Budgets, Priorities And Tech Preferences). HSI’s acquisition strategy and training-centric approach to EHS management reflect the current market appetite for EHS training solutions. 

Oklahoma-based SafetySkills was formed by its parent firm GBK Partnership in 2007 as a Learning Management System (LMS) focused on online training solutions. They now offer over 1,000 compliance courses in more than 30 languages. This acquisition would add 1,700 organizations to HSI’s customer base - ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 firms. SafetySkills Empowered, their proprietary EHS management tool for small- and medium-sized firms, compliments the capabilities of HSI’s counterpart solution, Donesafe, by providing incident management, audits and asset management capabilities. Verdantix finds that, within the next two years, improving EHS training engagement is a medium to a high priority for 88% of our survey respondents, second only to reducing serious injuries and fatalities (see Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2022: EHS Budgets, Priorities And Tech Preferences). This trend aligns with SafetySkills’s focus on learner motivation and engagement. They have invested heavily in technologies such as Unreal Engine for high-quality 3-D imagery and mixed-reality solutions to build immersive learning environments. Incorporating these functionalities along with SafetySkills’s comprehensive library of content would differentiate HSI as a specialist in EHS training. 

HSI has closed the loop on the EHS training cycle, providing users with tailored training content and an EHS management platform that links training tracking to onsite work. Firms that aim to integrate EHS training with their broader EHS ecosystems should consider the four following implementation opportunities (See Verdantix Best Practices: Adopting Digital Technology For EHS Training). Firstly, connecting with existing employee registries through an effective application programming interface (API) to automate the dissemination of training content. Secondly, analysis of lagging indicators such as lost time injuries, near misses and serious injuries and fatalities against the uptake of specific training material to inform future training strategies. Thirdly, reaffirming worker competency through assigning targeted training as control of work processes to mitigate human error risks. Finally, measuring leading indicators such as employee confidence levels as a result of digital training to evaluate a strong safety culture. These considerations will help EHS professionals operationalize their digital training solutions and integrate them into a wider EHS technology environment.

To learn more about EHS market news, please see our latest EHS Verdantix research

Rain Chiang

Analyst

Rain is an Analyst in the Verdantix Environmental, Health, and Safety practice. His current research agenda focuses on evaluating the financial return of proven EHS technologies. Prior to joining Verdantix, Rain worked at Deecon Consulting where he gained project management experience in the UK construction and telecommunications industry.  Rain holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Edinburgh.